I'm aware this question has been been answered in some detail and form, but I'd like to know this. How spectacular would a nebula look like from the surface of, let's say, a Super-earth like planet? There's more mass (correct me if I'm wrong) so the atmosphere is much thicker and light has to pass through more stuff. How awesome would a nebula (or any other celestial phenomenon, please name a few) would be? Would it be a permanent fixture of evening and night-skies. Would it be so that the night would always be a "semi-night" with a night filled with a soft orange light?

EDIT: By "spectacular" and "awesome", I mean, can and would a distant nebula be a significant fixture of an evening and night sky, i.e., can and would it be so bright that it would render the night sky into a "semi-day" sky? I'm not an astrophysicist, and I'm obviously in the presence of people who know a lot more about this subject. I just want to know if a nebula (and again, any other phenomena sans moons) can be so significant that it can alter the night cycle of an Earth-like (or Super-Earth-like planet).

I'm currently in the process of writing a story and I don't want it to be in a fantasy universe. So, I'd be grateful if someone can answer my question.....well, there're are a lot of questions in there, but any information will be extremely helpful.

Cheers. :)

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    $\begingroup$ What are the units of "awesome" and "spectacular"? What is your actual question? No one but you can quantify something so subjective. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 20 '18 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to the site! In order for your question to have a single non-opinionated answer(the goal of a Q&A site), you may want to remove your question about how awesome it would be and just focus on the other, more objective questions: would night be brighter, how visible would it be, etc. Also, you say that the atmosphere is thicker than Earth's, so you should add any relevant atmospheric info so that answers can take your specific world into account. $\endgroup$ – Giter Sep 20 '18 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ Though it's waiting on further clarification, I should point out that the thicker an atmosphere is, the less light reaches the surface. Faint heavenly objects like nebulae would be invisible, not spectacular. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Sep 20 '18 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Moin, welcome to the Worldbuilding. Nebulae are so rarefied that if you were inside one it would be no different than any other stretch of empty space. They look spectacular to us because they are so far away and so large that they diffuse a lot of light in absolute terms, and with long exposure times we can gather enough light to see some fine details. However, up close there would be nothing to see. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Sep 20 '18 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ If your planet has a more opaque atmosphere than Earth, many astronomical objects will look less impressive than they look from Earth. If the atmosphere is denser than Earth's the gases in it should be transparent gases, and there should be little haze from suspended particles, for astronomical objects to look as good as they sometimes do from Earth. A nearby nebula could look impressive to the naked eye, but it would look dimmer and transparent, instead of bright and opaque like in long exposure astronomical photos. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Sep 20 '18 at 21:44

You can take as reference how the Milky Way appears to a terrestrial observer (from APOD):

Milky Way

Though still magnificent, it somehow less spectacular than what one would see when looking at it from the outside, i.e. compare it to Andromeda Galaxy (same source):

Andromeda Galaxy

But that is due to the different observation point.

Due to the large distances it won't be enough to brighten the night sky like the Moon does, and the atmosphere would have a dimming effect, comparable to the effect you have when looking at the nocturnal sky in a city or in a remote location.

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    $\begingroup$ That top picture is a 40 second exposure. No human eye will ever see that. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 20 '18 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ @kingledion, also the bottom one is not a naked eye picture. Yet they explain the impact of the different point of observation. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Sep 20 '18 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Some readers may not know by personal experience why the Milky Way look like to the naked eye. Enough people have never seen it that during the 2003 US North-East blackout, there were apparently enough people to call NYC emergency services to put a serious strain on them, often about a possible terrorist chemical attack because of that strange luminous cloud hanging in the sky... $\endgroup$ – Eth Sep 20 '18 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion: How do you determine the exposure time? (And the sensitivity of the photodetector, light-gathering power of the lenses, &c?) As a practical note, on a clear, moonless night in the northern parts of the Black Rock Desert (~4000 ft elevation, with higher mountains around it), the Andromeda Galaxy is a barely visible smudge of light to the unaided eye. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 20 '18 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf The link says the exposure time of the pic. I sure wish the Milky Way looked like that to the naked eye. Alas, having seen so many amazing pictures online, the real thing from the middle of the South Atlantic is almost underwhelming. Real stars are so colorless. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 20 '18 at 18:07

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